IMG Models senior manager Kyle Hagler has joined rival modeling agency Next Management as president of its New York division, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. Hagler will report to Next co-CEOs Faith Kates and Joel Wilkenfeld.
“Kyle is a brilliant manager and a creative strategist,” Kates said in a statement. “We are so excited to be working with him and look forward to his ideas and experience in this ever-changing industry. He is a star maker with an amazing eye for talent and such elegant style!”
During his 17-year career at IMG, he launched the careers of Joan Smalls, Hilary Rhoda and Liya Kebede. He has also worked with Heidi Klum and Naomi Campbell and repped Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Karmen Pedaru. IMG Worldwide was acquired by WME last month after the Hollywood agency submitted a winning $2.35 billion bid.
Two hours ago NEXT tweeted "hi" to which Hagler replied "Hi. Super excited for this future" to which NEXT responded with "Same".
In an interview with Interview Magazine last year, Hagler recounted a little history:
All through college, the goal was to become an entertainment attorney. Then I realized in my senior year that I hadn't taken an LSAT or applied to law school or done anything in the way of moving into law. But because I was majoring in business management, I realized I could actually pair that skill with the business of model management. So I went to New York to meet with different agencies and landed at IMG. That was '96. Ivan [Bart] was actually the guy I was told to meet. He was the new guy at IMG, and he was shaking things up and making things happen. I met with him, and after a couple of hours, he said, "We would love for you to start here in two weeks." I accepted on the spot.
Question on everyone's mind is, of course, if and when will the defections begin?